Navigating EOFY sales: How Australian retailers can maximise success

(Source: Envato)

As the End of Financial Year (EOFY) approaches, Australian retailers have a golden opportunity to maximise their sales by aligning with current market trends and customer expectations. By integrating these insights into their operations, retailers can optimise their performance and stand out in a competitive landscape. 

The return revolution

Recent insights from Australia Post reveal that eight in 10 Australian households now shop online, highlighting the importance of a strong e-commerce strategy. But how crucial are shipping and returns? ShipStation’s Delivery Benchmark report found 65 per cent of Aussies expect free returns, and when an item doesn’t fit, 51 per cent of shoppers exchange their purchase for a different size or style with the same retailer. This indicates that many Australians prefer trying on clothes from the comfort of their home. With 40 per cent saying an inconvenient returns policy is a reason to avoid a brand in the future, can retailers transform their returns process into a competitive advantage that drives customer loyalty and minimises churn? 

How to maximise success during peak sale periods 

1. Know your audience: Understanding your target audience is crucial. For retailers aiming to attract Gen Z, transparency in return costs and offering streamlined return processes can be a game-changer. This tech-savvy generation values convenience and is three times more likely to pay for it than Boomers. 

 2. Make returns your competitive advantage: With 40 per cent of consumers deterred by inconvenient returns, simplifying this process is essential. Consider including prepaid compostable shipping bags and QR codes for easy drop-off or collection services. These initiatives not only meet customer expectations but also build loyalty and encourage repeat business. 

 3. Perfect product listings: To reduce returns and enhance customer satisfaction, ensure your product listings are accurate and detailed.  Providing comprehensive sizing guides, high-quality photos, and customer reviews, and implementing a “true size” rating system can help shoppers make informed decisions, reducing the likelihood of returns and their environmental impact. 

 4. Smart shipping solutions: Reevaluate your current shipping providers and explore new options to ensure you are getting the best rates and services. Many retailers overlook the potential benefits of switching providers or negotiating better rates. By partnering with multiple couriers, you can offer flexible and cost-effective delivery options, such as next-day or tracked delivery, making free returns more manageable through competitive rates. 

Setting up for success 

Embracing these strategies and adapting your operations can help retailers maximise EOFY sales and build stronger customer loyalty. Making the returns process straightforward and convenient is crucial, and optimising product listings and developing a transparent returns policy can lead to fewer returns and a reduced environmental footprint. 

However, the EOFY period is not only a time to boost sales but an invaluable opportunity to learn and refine your operations. By analysing what worked and what didn’t during EOFY, retailers can make necessary adjustments to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction. These learnings can set you up for success during the peak retail season, ensuring your operations are streamlined and ready to handle increased demand.